I woke up early and walked for the Colosseum from my hostel, wanting to arrive as it was opening so that there would not be much of a queue. At first I thought to get tickets at the Roman Forum area and go into the Colosseum without the line later on but the line going into the Colosseum seemed to be moving a lot faster so I headed over and within ten minutes I was inside the ancient amphitheatre.
It was my birthday and I was walking through the 1,946 year old building. It was a lot older than me that was for sure. Armed with a Rick Steve's audio tour on my ipod, I walked along taking in my surroundings and trying to absorb the sights I had only ever seen images of.
The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. It is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is made of sand and concrete. The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. Anfield in Liverpool can hold 45,522 spectators though thats soon to be increased with the stadium expansion but it puts things in perspective.
There of course used to be a floor to the colosseum, now the underground structure or hypogeum is revealed. The arena is 83 meters by 48 meters and was covered by wood and then sand. The hypogeum area was used to cage animals and hold gladiators and other fighters before the fights.
One the upper area of the colosseum, you get a nice view of the surrounding area like the Roman Forum which would be my next stop. Entrance to the colosseum costs €12 and includes entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
I really enjoyed my wander around the colosseum and was glad I downloaded the free audio guide from Rick Steve's website as it did help me understand more about the building. Visiting made me want to watch Gladiator but I haven't had a chance to watch the film just yet.